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Photo of students in period clothing receiving Certificate of Merit
Students are given Certificate of Merit on the last day of Miss Eliza's Summer Session, 1997

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One-Room Schoolhouse
A Local Legacy

Would you like to experience what going to school was like in the late 1800s? To start with, imagine everyone in school sharing only one teacher and one classroom.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, most American students attended a one-room schoolhouse. A single teacher would typically have students in the first through eighth grades, and she taught them all. The number of students varied from six to 40 or more. The youngest children sat in the front, while the oldest students sat in the back. The teacher usually taught reading, writing, arithmetic, history, and geography. Students memorized and recited their lessons.

The classroom of a one-room schoolhouse probably looked much like your own. The teacher's desk may have been on a raised platform at the front of the room, however, and there would have been a wood-burning stove since there was no other source of heat. The bathroom would have been outside in an outhouse.

In Honeoye Falls, New York, there is a one-room schoolhouse where kids today can experience what it was like to be students in the late 19th century. For a week during the summer, they wear 19th century clothes and learn the way children learned more than a hundred years ago.

What else has changed about school since the 19th century?

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